Arcane warriors in Thedas
The Arcane Warriors once widely existed amongst the ancient Elves. However, after their fall, the art of the Arcane Warriors is seemingly all but lost.
Arcane Warrior Spells
| Combat Magic|| Sustained |
|While this mode is active, the arcane warrior channels magic inward, trading increased fatigue for an attack bonus and the ability to use Spellpower to determine combat damage. Aura of Might and Fade Shroud improve the effects. Additionally, regardless of whether the mode is active, an arcane warrior who has learned this spell may use the magic attribute to satisfy the strength requirement to equip higher-level weapons or armor.|
| Aura of Might|| Passive |
Requires: Level 12
|The arcane warrior's prowess with Combat Magic grows, granting additional bonuses to attack, defense, and damage while in that mode.|
| Shimmering Shield|| Sustained |
Requires: Level 14
|The arcane warrior is surrounded by a shimmering shield of energy that blocks most damage and grants large bonuses to armor and all resistances. When active, however, the Shimmering Shield consumes mana rapidly.|
| Fade Shroud|| Passive |
Requires: Level 16
|The arcane warrior now only partly exists in the physical realm while Combat Magic is active. Spanning the gap between the real world and the Fade grants a bonus to mana regeneration and a chance to avoid attacks.|
This specialization can be unlocked while doing the Nature of the Beast quest line.
Location: Brecilian Ruins
Floor: Lower Ruins
Map: Middle Right; left section of two outstretching quarters.
Landmark: Broken Stone Altar; the section looks like a ruined library with a broken altar. If you see this landmark and it specifically says "Broken Stone Altar", then you are in the correct room.
Position: It is hidden in the shadows of that room; it's not sparkling, so just use your controller on the area across from the broken altar, next to the headless statue if you are playing on a console. If you are playing on PC press Tab to highlight all interactable objects in the room.
- On the PC when you are on the stairs, about midway, place your cursor so that it is pointing at the top of the square bookcase in the center of the room and the corner is close to the bottom of the statue with shield, left side bottom corner. Took me a while to find.
Item: Phylactery. When you touch it you experience the memories of the last elven arcane warrior who has remained trapped inside of the phylactery for centuries. He offers to teach you the secrets of the Arcane Warriors in exchange for setting his spirit free by placing the phylactery on an ancient altar. While the spirit of the elf has been imprisoned for so long that it forgets where the altar is located, the altar is actually right beside the phylactery. By destroying the phylactery, you unlock the Arcane Warrior specialization for the mage. In addition you receive 250 XP and +2 Approval from Alistair.
Mechanics and tactics
An Arcane Warrior gives flexibility to the mage and the party. This flexibly to the mage allows them to equip most armor and weapons in the games. Trading off on fatigue and mana managing allows the mage to be played as a hybrid weapon user and/or armoured mage. The mage can use their sustained abilities to get very high levels of defense/armor/spell resistance but at a heavy mana cost, this and high fatigue limits how many spells your character can use. Note that fatigue penalties also cause potions to become less useful. If equipped and attributes placed accordingly an Arcane Warrior can mimic a Warrior or Rogue in base damage with their auto attack but with mage abilities and spells. See Arcane Warrior Spellcasting for a complete list of spells that can be cast with a sword in hand.
Play styles for Arcane Warriors: Damager/Nuker, Defender/Tank, & Healer/Supporter, further customizations are refereed to as Hybrids. Many recommendations to how to play an Arcane Warrior can be overwhelming but is it key to understand all mage Spells. Knowing how combinations work and what does not work together will give you an advantage.
A damager can be either melee with casting or casting with a staff. If you are going to use your Arcane warrior as dps, be sure to combine it with a better suited damage dealing specialization. The upside is that you can now equip your mage with some of the games strongest weapons for melee damage, and still be able to throw the occasional spell in to soften up enemies.
Arcane Warriors can be setup to tank with the ability to wear heavy armor and manage fatigue makes this caster extremely tough, at the expense of a weaker mana pool. One can take advantage of the specialization's strong defensive spells in conjunction with regular defensive mage spells. By activating Shimmering Shield, Rock Armor, Combat Magic, Arcane Shield, Miasma and other buffs, you can make an arcane warrior tougher than any class in the game. Be sure to enhance your Arcane Warrior's mana rate with proper gear and keep in mind that gear with stamina regeneration buffs also apply as mana for Arcane Warriors.
By using your Arcane Warrior as a healer, you give your party a huge boost in survivability. Most of the time you have to manage aggro carefully with the warriors so that your fragile healer isn't instantly torn to pieces, but by using the heavy armor available to this specialization you can give your healer a huge buffer to damage. This means that a sneak attack by some shrieks on your mage is no longer a dealbreaker on harder difficulties.
Hybrids are variations of play style, gear, attribute placement and role in the party. This is also what is considered when picking up a second or third specialization.
With other Specializations
Blood Mage can help to offset the disadvantages of a low mana pool at the cost of health by allowing the Arcane Warrior to cast Blood Magic spells using health as mana. A reasonable amount of constitution would be highly recommended with this specialization combination. The effective Blood Wound spell can also be acquired, which is an ideal choice for both a more offensive Arcane Warrior and a tank drawing Threat.
Spirit healer produces a mixed character with offensive and defensive magic and good durability. This combination works best with light and medium armor, since a decent amount of mana is needed to power the high-level healing spells.
Shapeshifter is fair bit of redundant overlap between the two, as they both offer exclusive options in melee, but a foremost Shapeshifter with secondary Arcane Warrior can use massive armor and Bear Shape and be incredibly hard to kill with weapons. The main problem with this is the fact that Shapeshifter overall does very poor damage because of the fact that, unlike what the tooltip for Shapeshifter says, it does not actually use magic to calculate damage.
Battlemage is an especially potent as you can use the sustained and activated spells from the Battle Mage with the Arcane Warrior's ability to wear heavy and massive armor. This has drawbacks however, mana managing is is even more intense, and it limits your your use of sustained and activated spells. However, with good spell combinations can be very effective in damage and threat.
Keeper is an area of effect and crowd control specialization with a passive health regeneration ability. This can be very useful for any play style. This can be a high threat combination and with the draw back of rooting with One With Nature and may want to be a third specialization.
Arcane warrior: equipping
Currently there is only one arcane warrior specialization specific item in the game:
Silverite (Tier 6)
Requires: 27 strength/magic
Critical chance: 3.00%
Armor penetration: 3.50
Strength modifier: 1.00
+1 or +2 mana regeneration in combat
+10% spell resistance
+3 electricity damage
- For melee close combat and tanking, equip armor sets with -fatigue, equipment/weapons with +stamina/willpower, +mana/stamina regeneration, +dodge, +damage and of course +magic/spellpower.
- For casting unless wearing heavy armor in which case you can invest in fatigue as well. +magic/spellpower, +stamina/willpower, +mana/stamina regeneration, and reduced threat.
- Any further equipment and gear choices can be customized to your play style.
The specialization bonus is +1 dexterity on PC (confirmed).
While affected by the Combat Magic mode upgraded by the Fade Shroud Warden's eyeballs are visible from any direction but en face.
Dragon Age: Origins - PRIMA Official Strategy Guide!